November 10, 2018
The on-field umpires had allegedly told Uganda captain Roger Mukasa that Irfan Afridi would be no-balled for a suspect action if he continued his spell
Opening batsman Monank Patel survived a run-out chance on the third ball of the match before making a match-winning 107 to take USA to a 54-run win over Uganda on day two of WCL Division Three in Al Amarat. However, the win was shrouded in controversy as Uganda’s star allrounder Irfan Afridi was taken out of the attack after one over because captain Roger Mukasa was allegedly told by the on-field umpires that Afridi would be no-balled for a suspect action if he continued his spell.
Uganda nearly struck in the first over after sending USA in to bat, when Mukasa’s throw missed Monank well short of reaching the non-striker’s end. Monank struck his first boundary in the third over and never offered another chance for his second straight ton following a century in a win against Jamaica to round out the West Indies domestic 50-over tournament last month.
But a pivotal sequence occurred in the fifth over when Afridi was brought into the attack for the first time. What seemed like an uneventful four-run over ended with the umpires having a word with Mukasa, who said he was informed that should Afridi bowl again, he would be no-balled, allegedly for his offspin variation though Afridi’s stock ball is the legbreak.
With his star bowler forced to spend the majority of the innings patrolling the boundary, Mukasa tried to pick up the slack with his own part-time offspin, bowling a full quota to finish with 0 for 32.
Monank struck seven boundaries by the ninth over, but only hit two more the rest of his innings – a six over long-off in the 37th over and the four through fine leg that brought up three figures in 133 balls. He eventually fell in the 48th over. By that stage, he had taken USA past 220, which looked to be par, and a late burst by Jannisar Khan took them to 252.
Uganda took a methodical approach through the first 20 overs to reach 70 for 1, but the introduction of Timil Patel soon after wrecked their innings. Timil struck in the 24th to break a 62-run stand between Hamu Kayondo and Arnold Otwani. A bad call by Afridi in the following over saw Otwani run out by Steven Taylor’s underhand flick from point for 52. Afridi fell leg before prodding down the wrong line in Timil’s next over and from there USA were firmly in command.
By the 31st over, Uganda were 122 for 6 at which stage they adopted a conservative approach rather than swing for the fences to limit damage control on the tournament’s net run-rate tiebreaker. They eventually ended on 198 for 9.
Oman made it a perfect two in two after surviving some nervy moments in their chase of 185 to eventually clinch a four-wicket win against Singapore with 74 balls to spare. Captain Zeeshan Maqsood finished unbeaten for the second day in a row, clinching the match with a 43 to follow up his miserly spell of left-arm spin to tie down Singapore with 2 for 18.
Singapore battled hard after being sent in and were 164 for 6 after 46 overs with captain Chetan Suryawanshi on 37. But hopes of a swift flourish were derailed by Bilal Khan, who came back with a sensational death overs spell to claim three wickets building off the earlier work done by Maqsood.
Janak Prakash put a scare into Oman after his three wickets reduced the hosts to 75 for 4 in the 17th over. Opener Jatinder Singh fell not long after to Anantha Krishna’s leg spin to make it 93 for 5 as Singapore sniffed an unlikely win.
But they could not dislodge Maqsood, who added 59 with Mehran Khan and then another 34 with Fayyaz Butt in quick time maintain Oman’s solid net run rate of +0.883 after two matches.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo’s USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna
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